Goodbye, Lola-No

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Dear Friends and Confidant(e)s of Lola-No,

Please forgive me if this letter is not up to the standards to which you are accustomed.  I lack Lola’s eloquence.

Lola passed away suddenly this evening.  We did know that something was wrong, because she suffered a seizure about two weeks ago.  The vet could find nothing wrong with her —  her heart sounded strong, her bloodwork was fine, her body condition was great — and she had appeared to be perfectly fine ever since.  She was eating well, hunting for critters in the back yard, enjoying her walks with Heidi and Porky, and just being Lola-No.  I had begun to think that her episode was just a fluke.

Tonight I had no warning.  One minute she was fine, and the next she was gone.  Lola died much as she lived — on her own terms.  I can not believe she is gone.  I wasn’t ready.  Lola was not just my dog, she was my muse.  I know that many of you adored her from afar and played along with her shenanigans, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

So long, Lola-No.  It has been a wild ride.

Lola’s Mum

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Juliet

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My Dearest Friends and Confidant(e)s,

Last Friday was a very strange day.

Let me preface this account by explaining that over the past few months, Juliet had been struggling to stand up and to lie down. She had started to stagger when she walked, and eventually had started avoiding tinkling because it hurt to squat. I suppose Mum had noticed this, and on Friday had decided to make Juliet “Queen for a Day”.

Every time we went into the living room and I made a beeline for the biggest dog bed so that I could — you know — stretch out, Mum would call me to her and Juliet would lie in my spot. Then, at dinnertime, Porky, Heidi and I got dog food, and Juliet got chicken and pizza.

Then, a lady came — she was a vet; I could tell by her smell — and Mum locked Porky, Heidi and me in our crates because we are hooligans. Only Juliet got to visit with the lady. She was nice, too. I could tell by the soothing way she stroked and spoke to Juliet. Mum and the lady sat on the floor with her.

Despite having an early dinner, Juliet got not one… not two… but all the treats in the treat jar. I could have sworn the lady gave Juliet an injection, but Juliet didn’t notice because she was scarfing down treats. Then she fell asleep. I considered that remarkably rude considering she had a visitor, but not everyone has my exemplary social skills.

I don’t know what happened after that, because Mum had given me, Heidi and Porky frozen marrow bones in our crates, which she hardly ever does, so I thought that I should chew on mine for a while before she changed her mind. The next thing I knew, the lady and Mum were carrying Juliet out of the house on a litter, and putting her in the back of the lady’s car. Juliet must still have been sleeping, because she was covered with a green blanket. The lady took Juliet. I haven’t seen her since. I am beginning to suspect that she’s not coming home. Porky and Heidi don’t seem to have noticed that she’s gone. Porky couldn’t care less, and Heidi is mentally deficient. As long as Mum keeps closing Juliet’s crate door at night and opening it in the morning, Heidi thinks everything is copacetic.

None of this is fair. Juliet ate all of the treats. Now she has gone away — possibly to a castle — and I am stuck here by myself with Heidi and Porky. Yes, Juliet was a little dull and, truth be told, a kleptomaniac (which is very unbecoming in a 13-year-old)… but I was used to her.

And she was an excellent windbreak.

Love,
Lola-No

Regarding Cushions and Hotpants

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My Dearest Friends and Confidant(e)s,

I imagine some of you have been wondering how I am dealing with life with Porky. “As well as can be expected” is the most honest answer I can give you.

When Porky arrived (for the second time), Mum assured me that he wouldn’t be with us long, because, after all, we were just fostering him. As usual, Mum was misrepresenting the situation.  Nay — she was spewing egregious falsehoods. You see, it turned out that Porky had something called “cushions disease”, which, I assume, accounted for his overstuffed appearance. Mum began to suspect that something was amiss when he kept whizzing in the house. While Porky was by no means a perfect house guest during his first sojourn here, at least he wasn’t a house whizzer.  This time, Mum actually had to procure some hotpants for him to prevent him from leaving puddles on the bathroom floor, which happens to be pale yellow tile.  There were a few near-fatal slipping accidents.

Porky’s hotpants:

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Ahem.  Anyway…

Porky’s cushions disease means that he has to go to the vet a lot while they try to “get him stabilized on the right dose of medication.” I’m not sure what that is a euphemism for, but yesterday he came home smelling of alcohol. Far be it from me to judge. It was actually a relief that he smelled of something for a change. You see, one of the (many) strange things about Porky is that he has no discernable scent. It’s unnatural. I radiate a heady combination of Fritos® and brimstone. Heidi exudes an aura of urine and turpitude. Porky? Nada. One can’t smell him coming. He flits around like a potbellied poltergeist. Why, just yesterday, I was taking a hard-earned nap, and this happened:

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You can imagine my consternation when I awoke to discover this flagrant violation of my personal space.

Did I mention that, because Porky likes to tear off the ears (and eyeballs and legs) of stuffies and swallow them, I have not had access to my stuffies for three months? Mum “put them up” so that Porky couldn’t get hold of them and give himself a blockage. I’m sure I didn’t mention it. I don’t like to complain. Three. Months. No. Stuffies.

So, yes, Porky has been here for three months and counting. Mum assures me that he will be available for adoption when his cushions are under control, and that some lucky family will take him home. I wish her luck with that. She may need to throw in a free blender.

Love,
Lola-No

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Porky Mark 2 – The Return

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My Dearest Friends and Confidant(e)s,

A curious thing happened recently.  I was at home, minding my own business, when a car pulled up to the curb and a lady got out.  I had never seen this lady before, and I was about to go back to minding my own business, when I noticed that she was unloading something from her car.  It appeared, for all intents and purposes, to be a large, hard-boiled egg with legs.  I thought it odd that a hard-boiled egg would require a harness, but  there it was — wearing a harness and a leash — and before I knew it, the hard-boiled egg was dragging the lady up the path toward my front door.  As it got closer, I felt a prick of recognition, followed by a slow dawning of horror.  It wasn’t an egg.  It was… Porky.  Can’t quite place him?  Perhaps this photo will jog your memory:

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Yes.  Him.

The last time I saw Porky was about two years ago, as he set off down the front path with his new family and several of my best Nylabones.  I don’t know where he has been since then, but I suspect that he has spent the entire two years in front of a never-ending pasta bowl at the Olive Garden.

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Mum always keeps us separated from new arrivals for a while, so I did not see Porky for the next few days, but I happen to know that within five minutes of his arrival, he tried to tear the ears off my favorite hot pink Kong Cozie elephant.  I think that it was only fair, in light of this transgression, that a few days later, I went into his room and played with his toys while he was outside having his nails dremelled.  I am sorry to say that Mum was extremely judgmental when she noticed that his lime-green squeaky bear was hidden in a corner of my crate.  If anything, she should have scolded Porky for being so careless as to leave his belongings lying around.  In his ex-pen.  On his bed.

The first time Mum brought Porky along with us on our walk, I just about died of embarrassment.  He couldn’t keep up, for one thing, and then he pulled an Isaac – he fell off the curb and lay there like an upended tortoise, legs pedalling fruitlessly in the air.  I didn’t laugh because that wouldn’t have been ladylike, but Heidi did.  (For those of you who have joined my circle more recently, Isaac was a geriatric Labrador retriever who also regularly fell off the curb during our evening strolls.)

Well, my dearest friends and confidant(e)s, there you have it.  Porky Mark 2 – The Return.  Now, if you will excuse me, there is a lime-green squeaky bear that is in need of my attention.

Love,

Lola-No

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There Goes the Neighborhood

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My Dearest Friends and Confidant(e)s,

I have some distressing news.  Mum sprayed me on the bum with the hose.  What, you may be asking yourselves, was the motive behind this egregious assault on my person?

It all started several weeks ago, when we acquired a new neighbor lady.  This neighbor lady brought with her a ridiculous animal, which Mum claims is called a “German shepherd”.  This “German shepherd”, I ascertained while peering through a crack in the wooden fence, has a ludicrously long snout.  I’m surprised he hasn’t got it wedged in a knothole or a can or something.  His deformity aside, he seems to be innocuous enough, and I pay him little attention.

The day before yesterday, I discovered that the German shepherd (whom I have dubbed “Fritz”) has a Boston terrier cousin called Coco Chanel, and Coco Chanel has come for a four-week visit while her mum travels.  I hate Coco Chanel like poison.  I know, I know — It’s hard to believe that someone as tolerant and nurturing as myself could feel such animosity, but she really is vile.  She stands on the other side of the fence all day and calls me names.  Yesterday morning at precisely 5:30, Coco Chanel and Fritz (who is clearly a follower) stood at the fence not five feet from Mum and Dad’s bedroom, and yelled at the top of their lungs for a good forty-five minutes.  Ever helpful, I yelled back, telling them that they should be quiet because everyone was sleeping.  Mum and Dad were less impressed with my thoughtfulness than you might think.  I don’t know why I bother.

Yesterday, every time I went outside, I found myself at the fence with Coco Chanel on the other side shouting obscenities like a drunken trollop.  I, of course, tried to teach by example.  As you know, I am the embodiment of decorum and am famous for my diplomacy, so I have no idea how I got that splinter in my tongue.  Unfortunately, Heidi decided to fight fire with fire, and started yelling back.  I thought that Heidi should stay out of it and stick to tasks that she is better suited for, like licking her own feet, so I punched her and we got into a big fight.  Then, during the fifth or sixth encounter at the fence, it happened.  In retrospect, I think that Mum must have been been calling me for quite some time.  She couldn’t reach me because there is a hedge along the inside of the fence, which I, due to my diminutive size and impressive ninja skills, can easily pass underneath.  Mum, on the other hand, tends to get stuck with her hair tangled in the branches.  Anyway, as I said, Mum may have been calling me, but of course I couldn’t hear her because of Coco Chanel’s big mouth and the blood rushing in my ears.  The next thing I knew, a jet of cold water hit me smack-dab in the caboose.  I’m ashamed to say I leapt about two feet in the air, and fled.

While my rump will eventually dry, I may never fully recover from the shock and humiliation.  I am sure you are all feeling righteous indignation on my behalf right now, but I urge calm.  Violence solves nothing.  Today, to offset the traumatic events of yesterday, I plan to work quietly on the porch blankie.  As you can see, it is coming along nicely.

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Love,

Lola-No

The Lizard and the Porch

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My Dearest Friends and Confidant(e)s,

Today, Mum had to “rescue” me from under Dad’s car — at least, that’s her interpretation of the situation.  I admit that it was a little snug under there, but I would have been fine after I had digested my breakfast, so I don’t know what all the fuss was about.  Why was I under Dad’s car in the first place?  Well, it’s not like he uses that car very often.  Most of the time, it just sits in the driveway with a blankie over it. I’m not even sure if he knows it’s a car, because I often hear him refer to it as “the porch”.  Anyway, this morning, it occurred to me that there was a lizard somewhere in the porch.  Everybody knows that lizards should not drive cars, especially porches, so I thought that I would do everyone a favor, and take care of the potentially unsafe situation.  At no time did it cross my mind that it would be amusing to see if I could make a lizard part ways with its tail again.

At first, I thought that the best way to convince the lizard to get out of the car would be to take the blankie off the car, just like I took the blankie off the barbecue when a lizard crawled up into it.  It turns out, however, that porch blankies don’t come off very easily when one pulls on them. They just kind of… fall apart.  After trying unsuccessfully to remove the blankie, I took the next logical step, which was to attack the problem from underneath.  Unfortunately, the porch is a little low-slung, especially near the middle, so I got a tad stuck.  Then Mum came looking for me.  I have no idea how she thought to look under the porch.  Sometimes I think that she might be a little psychic.

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Anyway, there I was, lodged beneath the undercarriage.  It was a little embarrassing, but as undignified as my position might have been, Mum’s was considerably more so.  You should have seen her flailing around on the driveway, trying to reach me.  She was wearing a skirt.

Love,

Lola-No.

The Friday Morning Maniac

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My Dearest Friends and Confidant(e)s,

Have I ever mentioned that once a week, a deranged psychopath comes and wreaks havoc in my garden? Oh yes, it’s a fact. His name is Carlos. Every Friday morning, without fail, Carlos waltzes through the back gate without so much as a by your leave. He runs all over the lawn with a monstrous gas-powered vacuum cleaner. He hacks at the shrubbery with a motorized sword. He yanks plants out of the flowerbeds and throws them on the ground, and then he attaches a jet pack to his back and blows stuff around with it. He is completely demented, and is clearly a danger to himself and others. What does Mum do about this? Does she put him in time out like she does to me when I yank plants out of the flowerbeds and throw them on the ground? Based on what you already know about Mum’s capricious nature and arbitrary rules, I’m sure you can guess.

Well, last Friday, I realized that it was up to me to take care of matters, since I am clearly the only sensible and prudent individual on the premises. Carlos was right outside the living room window, no doubt trying to find a way in so that he could kill everyone in the house with his plant whacker. I went to the window, and politely cleared my throat. He paid no attention. I thought that perhaps he couldn’t see me because I was too low to the ground, so I hopped up onto the antique cedar chest right inside the window, and tried again. Again, he rudely ignored me. I was just attempting to reason with him, you understand — to cordially suggest that he take his noisy death machines and play in someone else’s yard — but he just wouldn’t listen. It pained me, but I had to raise my voice. In addition, I might have gently tapped the glass with my face. I am willing to concede that I might even have trampled a few potted plants in my efforts to reason with Carlos… but I’m pretty sure those toenail gouges on the top of the cedar chest were there before.

Well, I probably don’t need to tell you that Mum misconstrued the situation, and instead of thanking me for protecting hearth and home, she took one look at the drool-soaked window and the unfortunate African violets, and plonked me unceremoniously in my crate. By the time I got out, Carlos had jumped into his unmarked white van (yes, you read that right) and fled. Never mind. He’ll be back on Friday, and I’ll be right here… waiting.

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Love,

Lola-No